1:52: Richards reports that Florida is still trying to get a deal done, but other teams have no gotten involved, including both the Philadelphia Flyers and most recently, the Buffalo Sabres.
12:51: ESPN’s Greg Wyshinski writes that the Florida Panthers have offered Quenneville a multi-year contract in excess of $6MM per year, including bonuses. Currently, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock is the highest paid coach at $6.25MM.
12:44: New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis reports that the deal between Florida and Quenneville is done with an announcement coming tomorrow. He also adds that former New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow, who was fired last summer, is likely to find a role with the Panthers in some capacity as well.
12:12: The Florida Panthers are holding a press conference on Monday, according to The Athletic’s George Richards, who asked Tallon whether it will be to introduce a new coach.
“I can’t tell you,” Tallon responded. Then.. “That would be our goal. Yep.”
12:01: It’s been just a few hours since the Florida Panthers fired head coach Bob Boughner, but that hasn’t stopped the team from pursuing their replacement quicker than many people expected. While the name of Joel Quenneville was already rumored to be a legitimate candidate for Florida to hire, it is now believed the two sides are already closing in on a deal.
In fact, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that a potential deal between Quenneville and the Florida Panthers is much closer than anyone realized. While it’s not a done deal, they are close. The Athletic’s George Richards also writes that something could be worked out soon and that the team has already asked the Chicago Blackhawks for permission to interview Quenneville.
“We have to raise the bar here,” Florida general manager Dale Tallon said today. “We’re not happy right now.”
Adding Quenneville could turn Florida into an instant contender as the team is already loaded with offensive talent and only needs a few pieces, which the Panthers are hoping to get this offseason with their available cap space. Quenneville already has a great relationship with Artemi Panarin, who played for him in Chicago. Already having been rumored to be interested in playing in Florida, the addition of Quenneville might tip the scales for Panarin. The team is also rumored to be interested in goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who would also fill a major hole on the team.
Hiring Quenneville would be a change from their normal hiring practices as the team hasn’t hired a head coach with extensive experience since the days of Mike Keenan or Jacques Martin.
Regardless, the Panthers already have a tremendous amount of talent on their top lines, including Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov and Vincent Trocheck. The team also has some promising young players, including Henrik Borgstrom, Owen Tippett and eventually Grigori Denisenko.